It is the time of the autumn equinox in the southern hemisphere. Observing nature this week, I realised how my concept of autumn has been shaped more by cultural images than by the reality of my surroundings. So often we trust our assumptions more than our senses!

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The oaks have started rusting –
goldening their summer green.
Leaves announcing autumn
empty themselves of nourishment
in this season of shedding.

But wait – look again:
this is not the sum of the season.
Cabbage tree tells a different tale,
crowned in a golden explosion
of new leaves emerging.

 Here in the south
autumn contains spring:
the softness of a plectranthus haze,
amaryllis bulbs breaking through
to flower their hearts out.

Shedding and emerging –
two gestures inter-being.
We too can dance this paradox
as dark and light find balance
at the autumn equinox.

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